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Edward Burtynsky

Shipbreaking No. 24, Chittagong, Bangladesh
From the Series "Shipbreaking"


Edward Burtynsky
Born in Saint Catharines, Ontario, in 1955


Shipbreaking No. 24, Chittagong, Bangladesh
From the Series "Shipbreaking"


2000, print 2002


Chromogenic print, 3/5


101.6 x 127 cm


Purchase, the Museum Campaign 1988-1993 Fund, inv. 2003.103


Graphic Arts

After the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989, Edward Burtynsky travelled to India and Bangladesh to document the dismantling of single-hulled ships that were decommissioned in order to prevent further catastrophes. Renowned for photographs of global industrial landscapes, Burtynsky states, “These images are meant as metaphors to the dilemma of our modern existence; they search for a dialogue between attraction and repulsion, seduction and fear. We are drawn by desire – a chance at good living, yet we are consciously or unconsciously aware that the world is suffering for our success. Our dependence on nature to provide the materials for our consumption and our concern for the health of our planet sets us into an uneasy contradiction. For me, these images function as reflecting pools of our times.”

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